The architect behind the Philharmonie de Paris is suing the body that manages it over fines issued against him when the building opened over-budget and behind schedule. According to an article in The Guardian, the cost of the concert hall rose from €173 million when the project was announced in 2006 to €386 million by the time it opened two years late on 14 January 2015. In 2017, the Philharmonie issued the architect, Jean Nouvel, with a bill for €170.6 million, which included vast penalties for late delivery. Now Nouvel’s studio is counter-suing, saying the Philharmonie’s claim is “totally disproportionate”.

Nouvel’s lawyers, William Bourdon and Vincent Brengarth, said the claim against their client was all the more unusual for the fact that the concert hall was targeting only the architect and no other business involved in the project. They said the sums being demanded were “unprecedented in the world of architecture” and amounted to a death sentence for Nouvel’s studio.

Denise Maguire        
Editor of Plan Magazine